Kota Srinivasa Rao is so extremely talented that he can adorn any role and suit it with perfection. He is well equipped with the ability to understand the length and breadth of a character and blend wonderfully with the role. However, this talent is not confined to Telugu Cinema alone. Kota proved his talent even in Tamil and Hindi Cinema. Whether he sings on marriage saying “Bhadram Be Careful Brother” or sing in his own voice “Mandhu Babulam” and shake a leg, a miser, greedy guy, cruel person or a cheater- Kota created a trend in even roles as a father, Uncle, Brother and so on. His portrayals of such characters were so amazing that people started feeling only Kota can adorn such characters.
Kota Srinivasa Rao was born just a month before Indian Indepedence on 19th July 1947. Though he could not become an Ayurveda Doctor like his father, he grew as an actor who can treat people with his healthy acting and instead of medicinal treatment like his father, Kota treats the audience with his unique histrionics. Kota’s early years in Vijayawada exposed him to Stage Drama and helped him to become a great actor. He began acting in Stage Drama at a very young age and balanced stage acting and studies in the same time. After his studies, Kota got a job in State Bank of India and also continued his stage acting passion by adorning different characters. He acted in about twenty stage dramas relating to social themes and wanted to continue his acting career in stage dramas. But as fate could have it, he got an opportunity to act in Pranam Khareedu. Kranthi Kumar- who was determined in finding out new talents for film industry and made films like Jyothi and Aame Kadha could identify the talent in Kota. Based on a stage play Praanam Khareedu written by prominent writer C.S.Rao , the film was made on the same title in the year 1978.
Though the film earned a good name, Kota could not get opportunities in a jiffy. In the following eight years after Praanam Khareedu, he could act only in four films. It was when he got a chance to act in Pratighatana produced by Ushakiran Movies in 1986. The film earned great name for the heroine Vijayashanthi and Kota who adorned the role of Yadagiri in it. After this success, Kota got chance to act in Jandhyala’s Aha Naa Pellanta (1987) which took his talent and great fame to new heights . His career was travelling in express highway for his sole ability to deliver even a complex dialogue in an easily understandable manner. This journey went with such speed and took him to a new direction that- a situation arrived in Tollywood where there was no film without Kota’s appearance in it. To mention the list of Kota’s successful films, it sure will become a huge list. The way Kota adorned the role of Selvamani in Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar is absolutely fantastic. Kota could deliver Hindi dialogues such as “Selvamani- Light matters mein Comedy karte hain- Serious matters mein murders”, “Jis Ke Paas Power Hain, Us Ka Rang Bhi Right Hota Hai” in amazing South Indian accent. He also made his mark in Tamil Cinema as well.
At one point of time in Telugu Cinema- Kota and Babu Mohan’s comedy combination generated a fortune to the producers. Though he landed in controversies by acting in a role resembling NTR in ‘Mandaladasudu’ leading to the anger of NTR fans, the rift paled down after NTR himself took it in lighter note. Kota took it as a challenge to solve problems relating to Telugu Film Industry as well. He indirectly questioned the idea of getting artists from other states when there are great actors in Telugu Cinema. Kota’s brother Kota Shankara Rao is also an actor. Kota felt very depressed when his grown up son died in a sports bike accident.
But Kota has shown great resilience in coming out of such grief and continuing his work in acting. It is indeed a great honor for Kota to be awarded Padmasri for the year 2015 for his tremendous talent and poise in acting. His willingness in adorning any sort of role is indeed his greatest asset.
Padma Shri (2015)
Nandi Award for Best Villain- Ganesh (1998)
Nandi Award for Best Villain – Chinna (2000)
Nandi Award for Best Character Actor – Chinna (2000)
Nandi Award for Best Supporting Actor- Prudhvi Narayana (2002)
Nandi Award for Best Character Actor – Aa Naluguru (2004)
Nandi Award for Best Character Actor – Pellaina Kothalo (2006)
SIIMA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum (2012)